Help. Did I screw up my student teaching?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by NewYoungTeacher, Sep 25, 2019.

  1. NewYoungTeacher

    NewYoungTeacher New Member

    Sep 25, 2019
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    Sep 25, 2019

    Hello all, I'm new to site. I've come here because I need an outside opinion on whether I really did screw up my relationship with my mentor teacher.

    I want to apologize in advance for the long story. There is a summary at the bottom for those of you who don't want to read the wall of text.

    A little background information:
    I'm getting my certification in Art Education. I was placed last minute with a high school art teacher who has not been provided any information on practicum. From the very beginning he expected a lot from me. The first day I meet him, he asked me what I was planning on teaching the students during the first week on school. I explained to him I was there to mostly observe and learn.

    Strike One:
    Before I left after the first day I asked the MT when I should come in for tomorrow. His only response was that school starts at 8:20 am. So the next day, I arrived at 8:00 am and that was Strike One. One of the teachers from the department screamed "you're late!!!" I felt so embarrassed but I didn't want to provide any excuse and instead I asked MT "what time he came to school". He told me comes in at 7:15 am and I told him "then, I'd like to come in at 7:30 am, if that fine with you(MT)." He said "sure" and I was never late again but I feel like it still left a bad impression on him.

    Strike Two:
    He then told me that 'tomorrow' he would need me to mix clay. Since I know that is a very messing task, I asked him if I could wear more casual clothes and he said "sure". I repeated question because I still wasn't sure if he understood my question so this time I asked "can I wear jeans?" and he said "yeah". So the next day I wore jeans and he got pissed. I feel so stupid now looking back at it. I just knew he didn't understand my question. Urgh. So sooo stupid of me. Well that was Strike Two. After that I made sure to NEVER EVER wear jeans even on Friday. I was just sooo scared of pissing him off. For context, my MT wears jeans randomly during the week.

    More Background information:
    So for next many weeks a observed and I took notes. The teacher runs a very loose classroom. Most of the time, he doesn't have dry-erase markers and doesn't use the projector either. He only uses the projector to introduce an art project. He normally does a quick 5 min demonstration and then sets the students loose to work on their artworks. He doesn't often circulate the room. He doesn't have lesson plans, he only has powerpoint presentations. Sometime he isn't brother to even create powerpoint slideshow so he just google image searches random artworks and shows students those artworks.

    Soon students would come to me especially and ask for my opinion. I would give a little feedback but I always always told them to check with MT because this is his class.

    Strike 3?:
    Eventually a time came when I was suppose to take more responsibility and teach a lesson. This is where, pardon my language, shit hit the fan.

    I told him I would take a over a lesson. In my college program a lesson is always one day. While lesson segment is multiple lessons that go with one project. I thought he knew I was taking over for one day but I shouldn't of assumed that. Instead he thought I was taking over for a whole week. Once again looking back, I feel sooooo stupid.

    So two weeks prior to the lesson, I asked him if I could have time to sit with him and go over it. Instead he sent me a powerpoint and told me that that was the lesson. The powerpoint was mostly just images of art pieces. But nevertheless I used it to create a standard lesson plan with all of the bells and whistles. For several days I try to get his attention and get him to look over my powerpoint and my lesson plan. I emailed him my powerpoint. My powerpoint also includes standards and objectives and the central focus because that's what we are supposed to do. He hated that. Okay point taken, so I take away those slides. Then he told me to just use his powerpoint. I told him that there are things we need to include in every lesson we teach. For example a little art history and contemporary artists for students to compare and discuss. He eventually backed off and ask that I include certain images. So I did.

    I email my professor to check over my lesson plan and the day before lesson, I emailed him the lesson plan. Mistake #1 and maybe strike 3? He apparently wanted the lesson plan a week ago. I feel so stupid. I do wish he told me beforehand that. When I told my professor, she said that he shouldn't of expected a lesson plan if he never even provided one. He also was incredibly upset that my lesson plan was only for one day. After the lesson, we finally sat down for the first time and talked.
    He also said that my powerpoint went over the wrong things. I focused on Form and Surface design but he wanted me to focus on proportion. Mistake #2 I had no idea that was his central focus. I explained this to my professor and she agreed that that is most definitely not my fault. But now he has this very low opinion of me. He even called me unprofessional. That hurt a lot. So freaking much. In fact it still hurts. My professor reassured me that I was not unprofessional. But now I feel like he hates me and hates working with me. How can I possibly repair our relationship? Is there any way to repair it?

    When I got in my car to go to college, I cried for two hours. I cried so hard that I had to stop and park my car. I even cried when I spoke with my professor. I've never screwed up this badly in my life. I have over a 4.0 in college. I feel so miserable.

    Me and mentor teacher aren't able to communicate successfully to each other. Misunderstandings and mistakes have led me to have a very very strained relationship with my mentor.
  3. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

    Jul 3, 2010
    Likes Received:

    Sep 25, 2019

    I don't know all the details, but it seems like you are being very hard on yourself. You are in a brand new arena, and you are making some mistakes. It is not the end of the fact it is teaching. Teaching feels so different than college because college you can ace tests and get them all right. In classrooms, you will walk in and have colleagues not like you, have great lessons all ready to be planned only to find out that the copier is down and your projector in class just had the light broken.

    It sounds like you are learning not to repeat the same mistake twice. That sounds like an important trait of a great future teacher.
  4. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Apr 29, 2008
    Likes Received:

    Sep 26, 2019

    It's not you, it's HIM. What kind of crappy MT did they give you? My guess is he was forced to take you on the spot and is doing everything he can to make sure nobody is ever placed in his classroom again.
  5. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

    May 8, 2008
    Likes Received:

    Sep 26, 2019

    I would document like crazy. Do you need to turn in weekly reflections? If so, that would be the best place to do so. It's also a great way to vent and then return to your writing a week or so later to ponder.
  6. zmp2018

    zmp2018 Rookie

    Feb 12, 2018
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    Sep 26, 2019

    It sounds like your MT is going out of his way to make you feel stupid. I sense some narcissism coming from him. Definitely let your supervisor at the college know the extent of what is happening; don't feel that you should hold back.
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  7. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

    Jun 25, 2015
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    Sep 26, 2019

    Stop blaming yourself. It sounds like you got an awful mentor teacher
  8. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

    Aug 4, 2009
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    Sep 26, 2019

    What an a-hole. Nod, smile, and don't be that kind of mentor when they send you someone in ten years.
  9. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

    Jul 31, 2019
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    Sep 28, 2019

    It does not sound like you are the problem. Try not to be so hard on yourself. I tell the kids mistakes are just normal when you are 1st learning something. I think he sounds like a jerk. If you were here, I'd encourage you to find a better mentor teacher. It would not be hard to find a better one!

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